Ending is the New Beginning: How to End Gracefully

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, over 7.5 million Americans will be graduating from high school or with a post-secondary degree this year. That is 7.5 million Americans transitioning into the next step in their personal and professional lives! And that’s just in a formal educational setting. The end of one journey can be just as confusing and challenging as beginning a new one, but hopefully with some thoughtful actions the process becomes one of enthusiasm and not anxiety. Here are some thoughts on graceful endings.

    1. Take a deep breath, you’ve earned it! Relax for a moment and reflect on what you have accomplished without having to consider next steps. At this moment you have reached a peak, and that’s worth recognizing.
    2. Take stock in the current you. Let’s flip the classic interview question and change it to, “Where did you see yourself five years ago?” How did you define yourself when the journey began, and what has changed?
    3. Take-Aways. Now that you’ve reached this ending, what are you taking with you? Whether it’s physical, emotional or intellectual, you’ve got a whole new set of tools and experiences for the next step.

Every year millions of people find themselves at the end of one journey, but not everyone knows how to handle that. Once you’ve reached an ending, it’s natural to want to start the next step, even if that next step is to not start something new at all! Taking the time to find a graceful ending can help the transition process and make you feel even more prepared for your future endeavors. So, the next time you wrap up that project, complete that class, or decide it’s time to move on to your next adventure, make the ending just as good as your new beginning!


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement Division (CECE) is continuously looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of professional development for its clients. Be sure to check out the CECE website below, and reach out if you have ideas for new content you want to see! https://www.uwgb.edu/continuing-education/


Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

Design Your Solution

Using Design Thinking for Just About Anything

The idea of “design thinking” isn’t a new one, but the process can be used in a much larger scheme of situations than most people give it credit for. People in marketing, research, training and development, and other similar positions might be more familiar with the term, but why stop there? What if we stopped looking for solutions and started designing them in general? Here is a simple way of looking at the “Design Thinking Process” that can be applied to just about any situation:

Step One: Discover – One of the keys of design thinking is to put the end-user first. Whether that is your team of HR professionals or your children, look for information you can use to better understand the situation. Some ways to do this include conducting interviews, checking out the competition, and gathering data for analysis.

Step Two: Define – This is where you determine what the pieces of the solution might look like. Once all of that information from step one is gathered, now you can get creative and determine how to approach the situation. This step could include creating problem statements or experience maps, writing out examples of what the final solution could and should include.

Step Three: Ideate – Now that we know what we want, let’s take the next step and look for ways to achieve it. This step is when specific ways to solve the problem or address the situation are decided. Think about brainstorming sessions, creating blueprints, or even storyboards.

Step Four: Prototype – This is where we get our hands dirty. Most people want to jump to a possible solution right away, but without steps one through three, we’re letting intuition and guesswork control the process. Having a well-crafted way for people to practice or simulate the final solution is what makes this step critical, before they ever see it. Examples include mockups, test webpages and interactive presentations.

Step Five: Test – Here is the trick to step five: You should be asking for feedback throughout the whole process from your stakeholders. Include them in the process from the beginning, so that by this point you are validating what others have said before, not identifying critical elements this late in the process. Testing your design can look a lot like step one with interviews and observations, data analytics and metrics.

Whether you are designing a new performance review process or trying to decide where to go on vacation next, design thinking can be a useful tool for people to keep in mind. Following the process can increase confidence in your work and among those most impacted by the results. So, stop searching for solutions and start designing them!


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement Division is continuously looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of professional development for its clients. Be sure to check out the CECE website below, and reach out if you have ideas for new content you want to see! https://www.uwgb.edu/continuing-education/


Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist
User Experience Learning at https://uxhints.com/.

Reading for Leading: Some Books for National Reading Month

For those out there who are unaware, March is National Reading Month. While this month is often celebrated with Dr. Seuss and children’s literature in mind, it’s important not to forget that reading is also an excellent way to stimulate ideas for professional growth. With that in mind, here are some recommendations for books that I highly recommend if you are interested in turning a few pages!

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, by Daniel Pink. This book provides great insights into why you should be thinking about when to do things, not just why or how. A unique and thought-provoking shift from the standard text on self and team improvement.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown. An excellent book to start with if you have never been introduced to the writings of Brene Brown. Many excellent topics such as leadership and culture development are discussed, with applicable action steps and tons of online resources.

Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, A TED Book by A.J. Jacobs. If you’ve never read a TED Book, this is an excellent first choice. This book follows the author’s journey to thank every single person who made his morning cup of coffee happen, from the barista and paper cup manufacturer to the coffee farmer and distributer. A short and fun journey into gratitude and the systems our world is made of.

Reading provides a great opportunity to step back from the world we live in and gain a new perspective. It can be on your own, with a friend or in a group, something new or something you’ve read before, a book or an article or anything in between. You never know when or where you’ll find some inspiration!


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement Division (CECE) is continuously looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of professional development for its clients. Be sure to check out the CECE website and reach out if you have ideas for new content you want to see!


Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

What ChatGPT Can Do For Your Organization?

If you haven’t heard about ChatGPT yet, allow me to introduce you to one of the most talked about artificial intelligence programs in the world. This program, a chatbot that launched in late 2022, has taken the world by storm with advanced language usage and an ability to “learn” from your previous answers to create even more effective responses. While quite a bit of the press has focused on the education space, the uses for a program like ChatGPT have significant value for other industries as well. Here are some ways that ChatGPT has been used to either create or improve processes across organizations:

    • Creating advertising plans and writing content for social media or marketing purposes.
    • Developing coding, data analytics and cybersecurity suggestions.
    • Acting as a recruiter and responding to questions and providing information that a potential candidate might ask for.
    • Gaining a second opinion by gathering information on a subject and explaining the various intricacies.

ChatGPT can be used for a myriad of processes within an organization. However it is important to recognize its limitations as well. The program only uses data through 2021 and is not able to incorporate real-time information for topics such as finance. It also cannot guarantee that any responses it generates is 100% accurate and therefore should be considered a resource requiring additional due diligence. Yet ChatGPT can still be a powerful tool for generating ideas and creating process improvements. Don’t believe me? Here is what ChatGPT told me when I asked how businesses can use it:

“A business can use ChatGPT to improve customer service, sales and content creation, resulting in saved time and resources, as well as providing more personalized, efficient and accurate interactions with customers and clients. ChatGPT can assist internal employees by automating repetitive tasks, providing real-time data and insights and allowing for more efficient and effective processes, thus freeing up employees’ time to focus on more important and value-added activities.”


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education and Community Engagement Division is proactively looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of professional development for its clients. Be sure to check out the CECE website and reach out if you have ideas for new content you want to see!


ChatGPT– ChatGPT by OpenAI

Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist


Holidays in Logistics: Getting from A to B

As we start a new year, take some time to think about the massive undertaking that just ended for retail, one of the most critical industries in the world — supply chain management (SCM) and logistics. According to a report from McKinsey & Co., 56% of respondents said they started buying gifts in October, with 51% doing so because of concerns about product availability and 42% concerned about shipping lead times. This timeframe, on top of other well-reported economic factors, made 2022 one of the busiest and longest holiday shipping seasons ever.

This concurrence of events means that the SCM industry continues to change and adapt in notable ways:

    • Digitization has never been more important. Every step of the process, from raw materials to finished products, through any number of facilities, is processed and tracked for security, safety, and efficiency.
    • Automation is coming to the industry too. With it comes not just computer science and data analytics, but also mechanics, quality control, equipment and resource planning professionals.
    • Where you keep things is becoming just as important as where you make or sell them. Fully automated warehouses and self-service delivery kiosks in stores are just two examples of innovations within the industry.

In a rapidly evolving and innovating industry, it’s important not to forget the human element. Customer service, safety, training, research and development; these are all areas where people will be needed in order to keep their organizations on the cutting edge.
With plenty of changes still coming to the SCM and Logistics industry, is your team and organization ready for the new year?


If you are interested in learning more about the supply chain and logistics industry, UW-Green Bay offers a number of certificates and programs dedicated to the topic! Registration is open now for our noncredit Supply Chain Management Certificate, learn more on our website.
US Holiday Shopping 2022 – McKinsey and Company

Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

The Value of Showing Appreciation

In a world going through a cycle of mass change and employee movement, the research is clear: showing your current employees’ recognition and appreciation can make a significant difference in their engagement, performance, and even retention. An article in the Harvard Business Review, titled “Do You Tell Your Employees You Appreciate Them?”, describes how leaders rated in the top ten  and bottom ten percent for providing recognition have over a 40-percentile difference in their employees’ engagement scores. This is a significant gap to be attributed to a simple but meaningful practice for leaders to incorporate into their team culture. There are several ways you can improve your recognition and appreciation-sharing skills. Here are a few to consider:

  1. Think about how people want to be recognized – Not everyone wants the public callouts and team celebrations. Recognize individual preferences, and they will truly feel seen and appreciated.
  2. Go beyond “Good Job” – Show that you recognize the process and the work that went into them receiving the appreciation. Provide detail and specifics beyond just the outcomes.
  3. Timing and frequency matters – Once you get into the habit of providing recognition to associates, the awkward initial feelings can fade away and your recipients can appreciate the moment more effectively. Also, timely recognition is the most effective recognition, so don’t wait too long!

If you aren’t normally a leader who provides recognition to their team members, it can feel awkward and unnatural to suddenly start. Remember though that you can always start with small, authentic moments of appreciation. Even that can make a difference in the engagement of employees, providing benefits for your team, team members and organization.


Understanding how to create high performing teams and communication skills are just two of the topics within UW-Green Bay’s Supervisory Leadership Certificate program. Registration is open now, learn more on our website.



Do You Tell Your Employees You Appreciate Them?– Harvard Business Review

Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

Reviewing LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Trends Report

LinkedIn recently shared their 2022 Global Talent Trends Report, highlighting analysis of job postings, responses to those posts, and interaction data from LinkedIn users. This report provides a number of valuable insights into the ways that people view the current job market, as well as their current positions and needs. Here are a few highlights to think about:

  • Company culture matters. Whether it is for a prospective employee or a current one looking to advance, the company culture plays a significant role in how people perceive employment opportunities and their future.
  • Flexibility is key. The pandemic accelerated trends towards a flexible workforce that isn’t going away. Between technology advancements and generational changes, the office is now just one place where business is occurring.
  • Well-being, especially mental, matters. People value their personal well-being in the workplace more than ever, especially their work-life balance and mental health. Companies that support their employee’s individual needs reap the benefits.
  • The Great Reshuffle, not The Great Resignation. Opportunity is everywhere, not just for employees. Employers can make themselves into workplaces of choice with clear, authentic branding and open communication.

The details mentioned above represent a basic overview of the information included within the 2022 Global Talent Trends Report. I suggest taking some time to read through the entire report as it includes data and specific actions that can be taken within organizations. Understanding these trends is a great place to start developing company culture, or your own professional journey.


UW-Green Bay’s Continuing Education team offers a number opportunities to develop your personal and professional skills, everything from certificate programs to workshops and boot camps. Check out their offerings at UW-Green Bay Continuing Education.



2022 Global Talent Trends Report, LinkedIn Talent Solutions.

Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

In the Wake of Patagonia’s Decision: Sustainability in Practice

In the wake of Yvon Chouinard’s decision to transfer ownership of Patagonia, the multibillion-dollar outdoor apparel company he founded, to a trust and non-profit organization, there has been a new surge in conversations surrounding sustainability. While decisions around how an organization acts sustainably might be something you think only happens at the executive level, knowing where to find resources can be a key point in helping you become part of that conversation. Here are two websites with information about current trends in the sustainability field and ways you can help become an advocate for your organization.

Conscious Capitalism: This nonprofit organization brings together people from many different industries and fields to educate and create effective tools for developing sustainable business practices. They offer virtual events and articles for free, giving you an opportunity to learn about sustainability at your own pace.

The B Lab: The B Lab is a nonprofit that provides organizations with the tools to assess their business practices, including a certification process that takes into account topics such as social and environmental practices, legal commitments and transparency. At this time over 5,000 companies have been certified as B Corps, including major companies such as Unilever ANZ, Nespresso Global, Athleta and Patagonia.

The practice of sustainability in organizations is something that anyone can address at any time. Whether it’s creating a new business practice that is more equitable for team members, or finding a new supplier that promotes their own ethical business standards, there are many ways to get involved in the conversation. Take some time to look at your own organization and see where you might be able to take one step towards a more sustainable focus.


Learn more about sustainability through UW-Green Bay’s Sustainability Noncredit Certificate Program offered in conjunction with the Environmental Management & Business Institute (EMBI).



LinkedIn News. Patagonia founder gives company away. Ruiqi Chen. September 19th, 2022.

Conscious Capitalism– www.consciouscapitalism.org

The B Lab– www.bcorporation.net

Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist


The Metaverse & Working In-Between

In a post-COVID world, the phrases “work from home” and “remote work” have become a significant part of organizational culture. Related to this trend is the idea of the metaverse, or that space where work takes place between the physical and virtual desks. If you haven’t heard of the metaverse yet, just wait. History shows that the longer a trend continues, the more advanced technology will evolve to become more effective and more efficient. Tech companies are already moving beyond programs like Zoom and Teams to focus directly on creating virtual, collaborative workspaces that allow people to connect in more advanced ways than ever before. Just as access to real-time data and information has become a part of our personal lives, the metaverse augments the workplace and allows for employees to create, develop, and refine information in the professional world.

It is just as critical to consider the importance of the physical location in the workplace and organizational culture. There will always be elements of work that require a physical presence, but it is the location and accessibility of those locations that will become more crucial as time goes forward. The strategic nature of locating your business is just as important as access to any other resource. Considering the advantages of location, combined with access to virtual assets, will allow well-prepared businesses to adapt quickly and effectively, putting them in line for a more successful future.

As technology further blends the physical and virtual workspaces together, how a company responds to the workforce trends will make for critical choices in future development. Is your company culture adaptable to change? Does it offer employees the resources they need to be successful, wherever they are working? The metaverse is going to continue to expand and evolve. How will your company respond?


Offer employees the chance to develop their skills in the Modern Workplace Skills Certificate program. Enrollment is ongoing and the program is completely online!

Harvard Business Review. The Metaverse Will Enhance — Not Replace — Companies’ Physical Locations. Vladislav Boutenko, Richard Florida, and Julia Jacobson. August 16, 2022.

Writing/Research Credit: Christopher Ledvina, UW-Green Bay Business Development Specialist

Why Sustainability Matters to Business

Like many consumers, businesses have sustainability on their minds! Some businesses are taking steps to become more sustainable and are experiencing its many benefits. However, others are hesitant to change. For those who are unsure or want to learn more, here are some benefits of sustainability practices!

Businesses need resources such as people, materials and land to operate. Without a healthy environment, resources will become too scarce. If there are too few resources, the business will struggle. Sustainability practices avoid scarcity by helping to ensure the health of people and the environment.

In addition, a sustainable business uses resources more efficiently. They plan meticulously and use exhaustive efforts to produce their products by wasting very little. According to Forrester, “tech leaders consistently [tell us] that specific efficiency initiatives contribute to sustainability… and sustainability initiatives force optimization.” So, innovation and sustainability work together to optimize and increase the company’s value while helping the world.

Next, stakeholders care if businesses are sustainable. Consumers and investors are more likely to engage with sustainable companies. Also, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, a company emphasizing “regular dialogue with stakeholders… is better positioned to anticipate and react… to changes as they rise,” which gives them an advantage over their competitors. However, “when firms fail to establish good relationships… it can lead to increased conflict and reduced stakeholder cooperation.”

Stakeholder support and feedback are invaluable for a businesses seeking long-term success. So, by becoming sustainable, businesses experience increased investment, a competitive advantage and long-lasting support.

Finally, a sustainable business is better for people and the planet. Sustainable businesses provide a healthier environment, better support for their workers and the community. As a result, these businesses have a greater positive impact.


Learn about sustainable business strategies and make a green difference by enrolling in UW-Green Bay’s Sustainability Certificate Program. Continue your sustainability journey!


Forbes. Why You Should Care About Sustainability. Forrester. November 30, 2020.
Harvard Business Review. The Comprehensive Business Case for Sustainability. Tensie Whelan and Carly Fink. October 21, 2016.

Writing/Research Credit: Benjamin Kopetsky, UW-Green Bay Marketing Intern